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Teen’s junk food diet caused him to go blind, study finds

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 05: Packages of Pringles potato chips are displayed on a shelf at a market on April 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Diamond Foods Inc. has agreed to purchase Pringles chip operations from Procter & Gamble Co. for $1.5 billion, a move that will triple the size of its snack foods business. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A teenage boy’s junk food diet consisting of Pringles and French fries among other things was enough to make him go blind, according to a recent case study.

The case report, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, documents the case of the young patient, whose extremely picky diet consisted of only fries, Pringles potato chips, white bread, slices of processed ham and sausage.

Scientists from the University of Bristol examined the patient, who began eating these foods during elementary school and first went to the doctor at age 14, complaining of tiredness.

Doctors noted the boy wasn’t taking any medication, had a normal BMI and height, and showed no visible signs of malnutrition.

Doctors said the boy did have low levels of B12 and anemia, so he was treated with B12 injections and received dietary advice.

A year later, the boy was experiencing symptoms of hearing loss and vision loss.

He was blind by the time he was 17, the case study noted, and doctors cited vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, reduced vitamin D level, and bone level density, according to a statement from the University of Bristol.

Researchers from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital examined the case and concluded that the patient suffered nutritional optic neuropathy, a dysfunction of the optic nerve.

Researchers said that a poor diet and reduced intake of mineral caused vision loss in this case.

They also warn that the consumption of junk food may lead to increased risk of nutritional optic neuropathy.